Treasuring the Great Era, Cherishing the Green Years 

President Zhang Qingjie’s Welcome Speech, 2020

Leaders, faculty members and students

Today, we gather here to solemnly hold the opening ceremony for 2020 freshmen at Wuhan University of Technology. First, on behalf of all school leaders and faculty members, I would like to extend my warm welcome and sincere congratulation to all of you.

Dear students, over the past few months, you have experienced the most severe and once-in-a-century pandemic, the solidarity of entire nation and heroic undertakings to save lives. I am sure such experience must make you proud and grateful of being a Chinese. What makes you so unique is that the next 30 years when our country achieves the second centenary goal by 2050 will also be the golden 30 years of your life. All of you will be on the dream team for striving to realize the Chinese Dream. You, who shoulder the great mission, must be incomparably proud of it.

Dear students, you are in a great era. In the meeting to commend role models in China's fight against COVID-19 on September 8th, nearly half of heroes accepted national highest honor are young people.. General Secretary Xi Jinping said that he is proud of their outstanding performance. Dear students, it is your time, and you should treasure the great era. As a principal and teacher, I would like to put forward three suggestion in the first class for the new semester.

First, we should salute our great motherland. Our country is a great country. Leaded by the CPC, the Chinese nation has made a great leap from standing up to growing rich and to becoming strong. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the advantages of the CPC's leadership and socialism have been further demonstrated. On January 27th, Vice Premier Sun Chunlan led central government guiding team to Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic, and mobilized the whole country to treat patients and save lives. The country managed to contain the rapid spread of the virus in just over a month and kept the daily increase of local confirmed cases falling to single digits in nearly two months. Moreover, a decisive victory againstCovid.19 was secured in Wuhan in just about three months. General Secretary Xi Jinping claimed to the world that “We are willing to do whatever it takes to protect people's lives”. Against the back drop of constantly spreading COVID-19 overseas, Wuhan, at that time has changed into the safest city. When other countries suffered from rapid increase of confirmed cases, China started to reopen economy units and schools in an orderly manner. Dear students, no country can take such efficient actions to curb the pandemic as China did, no party can prioritize people's life and safety as the CPC and nor can any nation be such united as Chinese nation. Given all these, all of us should salute our country, and devote our entire life to love and strive for it.

Second, we should learn from heroes. A nation without hero is one without hope. Facing unexpected severe epidemic, a great number of medical workers have raced against time and fought tenaciously against the virus at the frontlines. They have saved numerous lives and homes. Heroes are the core of a nation. Despite all the obstacles, they still remain courageous. Recipient of the Medal of the Republic, Zhong Nanshan and recipients of the national honorary title "People's Hero", Zhang Boli , Zhang Dingyu and Chen Wei, and a total of 346 medical teams composed of 42,600 medical workers struggled to fight against COVID-19 at the frontlines, to save lives, and to spread love. We should learn from them to care about others and forge ahead with no fear. We should also learn from heroes who might be ordinary yet selfless.. In response to COVID-19, the public has also made great contribution.. Over 4.6 million grass-roots party members and over 4 million community workers worked day and night in 650 thousand urban and rural communities, so did numerous volunteers and ordinary people..At that time, medical workers, party members and cadres, teachers and students of WUT also actively dedicated to the battle. Te Li, an undergraduate of the School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and a warrior to fight COVID-19, chose to stay in Wuhan after lockdown and took part in volunteer team to deliver supplies for hospitals and institutions. After initial success in epidemic prevention and control, he refused to go back home and applied to be a volunteer vaccinating with the COVID-19 vaccine instead. Li Xin, an undergraduate of School of Economics, volunteered in his hometown twice and was on duty for 51 nights. Despite the harsh environment, Li said that “ What makes my works meaningful is those families stay safe and sound” It is exactly those people that warm the winter. Heroes and role models once again demonstrate with their actions that greatness comes out of the ordinary. With contributions and unsung efforts, every ordinary person can have an extraordinary life.

Third, we should strive to realize dream. The endless pursuit for dream remains the happiest thing in the world. Dream provides determination and vigor. Jiang Shusheng, director of State Engineering Laboratory of Optical Fiber Sensing Technology and academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, is one of the pioneers in this field.. In the 1970s, Jiang set a lofty dream to advance China’s fiber sensing technology. Since then, starting from a shabby room, he and his team toiled and moiled and overcame a series of major technological difficulties. After four decades’ effort, they have successfully broke technical monopoly, making China a leader in optical fiber sensing technology. Jiang connects his personal fulfillment with social development and concentrates himself on the research with perseverance and consistency for decades, which makes significant contributions to long-term safety monitoring of national key projects and equipment. General Secretary Xi Jinping once said, “ Only by integrating personal dream into the country’s development, keeping up with the times, and sharing the same future with people can we realize our value of life. To realize dreams requires every one of us to closely connect personal dream with national destiny, acquire new knowledge, foster creativity and skills. By doing so, we can make our own contribution to the national rejuvenation.

Regardless the twists and turns on the road, we still have the willingness to forge ahead. 100 years ago, Chairman Mao once said, “It is our world, our country and our society, if we don’t speak it out and work hard, who will?”. Now, it’s time for you to shoulder the historical responsibility. I heartily hope all of you can realize WUT’s school motto “Sound in morality, broad in learning and pursuing excellence”. I hope you can learn from and practice China's spirit in combating the COVID-19 -- putting people's lives first, solidarity, sacrifice, respecting science and a sense of mission for humanity with firm faith and strong patriotic feelings. I hope you make arduous efforts during your college years and create a bright future.

Thank you!